A star returns
Texans star pass catcher DeAndre Hopkins made his return to the practice field just one day after the workouts started. He worked on some very specific drills during the workout. He practiced catching the ball from different body positions like squatting and leaning. He will be on a rep count for the Texans during camp.
Roby's run continues
Bradley Roby frequently cites how the #Texans struggled in the secondary last year. Said he wants to help correct that and play on the top defense in football.— Cody Stoots (@Cody_Stoots) July 26, 2019
Make it two days of impressive work in a row for new cornerback Bradley Roby. He ripped down a pass for a pick-six which Bill O'Brien claimed occurred because a pass catcher ran the wrong route. Roby didn't mind how it happened though, he took the ball the 70-plus yards for a score.
Speaking of pass catchers
This may be the deepest pass catching depth in history for the Texans. It feels like everyone can catch the ball well. We know about Hopkins and Will Fuller but Keke Coutee is the first real slot the Texans have had and the tight end room is loaded with every kind of tight end you would want. Deshaun Watson has a plethora of options to hit on the field.
The other Jordan
Jordan Thomas will get a lot of love during camp, as he should. But, don't forget about Jordan Akins. Though he had some plays Friday he might want back he had plenty of play maybe only he can make. Akins should be quite the chess piece for Bill O'Brien to move around the field. A few linebackers had a rough day trying to matchup with him.
Zach Cunningham and Dylan Cole are here for among other things their reliability in coverage. The duo showed again today how athletically gifted they are as they chased down tight ends and running backs. It will be imperative Cole stays healthy this season and give the team the much needed depth for that job.
A.J. Moore day
The special teams standout from last year had a strong day between the lines today. He was all over the place breaking up plays. He hauled in a long pass for an interception which really fired up the defense. He has plenty of opportunity while Justin Reid is out to add to his resume on defense.
Reid returns next?
While there is no timetable for Justin Reid to be activated for the team Bill O'Brien didn't seem concerned about his second-year safety's timeline. Reid was hit by a drunk driver before camp started and is currently on the Active/Non-Football Injury list. In his absence Jahleel Addae, most recently with the Chargers, has been getting a good amount of work.
AJ day 2.0
Backup quarterback A.J. McCarron diced up a few defensive sets. He rolled out a few times confusing defenders and extending a play just long enough for his players to come open. He threw a laser into the back of the end zone for a touchdown. He also isn't afraid to take a deep shot.
Pads come on Saturday
The team will have their first padded practice on Saturday. This is where more can be learned about the offensive and defensive lines. The list of most interesting players to be in pads tomorrow for me is as follows:
OL Tytus Howard
OL Max Scharping
OT Julién Davenport
DE Charles Omenihu
Play of the day
Fullback Cullen Gillaspia made the play of the day. He caught a pass in the corner of the end zone over his shoulder with a linebacker right on him in coverage. The defense protested saying the catch wasn't made in bounds. Gillaspia smacked into a storage shed finishing the rep but popped right back up.
Quote of the day
"We'll only keep him on the left side and he'll get his tackle reps."
Texans Head Coach Bill O'Brien on rookie offensive lineman Tytus Howard.
What: Texans vs. Buccaneers
When: 11/5 12pm CST kickoff
Where: Houston, TX NRG Stadium
TV/Radio: KHOU-TV, KILT-Radio
Betting Lines: Texans -3 (Even), O/U 40 (-110) *As of this writing
When the Texans play the Bucs Sunday at NRG, both teams will be fighting to stay in playoff contention. At 3-4 with 2-1 records in their divisions, a non-conference loss won't hurt much, but it certainly won't help. The Texans weren't seen as a playoff contender coming into the season by the overwhelming majority. The Bucs were picked by some to possibly win the NFC South, or make the playoffs as a wildcard. The Bucs enter this game on a three game losing streak after going 3-1 in their first four games. The Texans enter the game winning three of their last five after an 0-2 start.
When the Bucs have the ball: Baker Mayfield has been called a modern-day version of Brett Favre, in the sense of his play on the field. He's known as a gunslinger who believes in his arm talent a little too much at times. With Mike Evans and Chris Godwin at receiver, I'd be a gunslinger too! Evans has never NOT had a 1,000-yard season in the NFL. Godwin has been very productive in his career so far as well. While Baker is sporting a 2.5:1 TD to interception ratio this season, his career mark of 1.65:1 can't escape him. The pass rush will be the key again this game. Tampa does the bulk of their damage through the air. Pressuring Baker into incompletions and/or interceptions is one way to do it. It looks as if their tackle Tristan Wirfs will play this weekend. They can't ignore the run game though. Tampa doesn't have a double-digit ball carrier that averages more than four yards per carry. At 3.8 yards per carry, Baker is their leading guy in that category.
Friday’s Injury Report for #TBvsHOU ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/qm2tFVguyn
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) November 3, 2023
When the Texans have the ball: DOUBLE TEAM VITA VEA! At 6'4 and listed at 347lbs, Vea is a serious load. Primarily known as a run stuffer, Vea can push the pocket on passing downs. His 3.5 sacks leads their team. Going against him with Dameon Pierce being out isn't ideal. However, Devon Singletary has been seen as the better back for this run system. Factor in Robert Woods still being out and tight end Brevin Jordan missing the game as well, it doesn't bode well for the offense. This is when Tank Dell, Nico Collins, John Metchie III, and others have an opportunity to step it up. Missing one of his safety blankets after being frustrated will be tough on C.J. Stroud.
Outcome: When it comes down to it, this game will be decided by which defense is able to establish themselves. Both offenses are geared towards the pass game and use the run game to keep opponents honest. I can see Tampa's defensive line being the deciding factor. How the Texans' offensive line handles them will give us the winner. Stroud vs. Baker will be fun to watch. Stroud is more of a cerebral/accurate quarterback, while Baker is a gun slinging risk-taker. That being said: Texans 20, Bucs 19 with John Christian Kaʻiminoeauloamekaʻikeokekumupaʻa "Kaʻimi" Fairbairn kicking the game winner as time expires.